Pulses Current Affairs

CCEA doubles Bank guarantee limit for pulses & oilseeds for NAFED

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved proposal to double guarantee to Rs. 19,000 crore from earlier Rs 9,500 crore to National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) for obtaining credit from banks for procurement of pulses and oilseeds at the support price. The regularization and extension is for undertaking procurement operation of pulses and oilseeds under Price Support Scheme (PSS).

The CCEA also approved Government Guarantee up to Rs. 45 crore to the Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) for meeting its existing liability and settlement of extant claims. The guarantee will be provided for period of 5 years, till 2021-22 and with waiver of 1% of government guarantee fee.

Background

As the market price of almost all pulses and oilseeds are ruling below Minimum Support Price (MSP) as notified by Government, provision of Government Guarantee will help in protecting farmers producing these commodities from making distress sales during peak arrival period. It will also provide remunerative prices to encourage higher investment and production. It will also provide to safeguard interest of consumer by making available supplies at reasonable price with low cost of intermediation.

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED)

NAFED is apex organization of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce in India. Its headquarters is located in New Delhi. It was founded in October 1958 to promote trade of agricultural produce and forest resources across the nation. It functions under Ministry of Agriculture.

NAFED is now one of the largest procurement as well as marketing agencies for agricultural products in India.  In 2008, it had established, National Spot Exchange, a Commodities exchange as a joint venture of Financial Technologies (India) Ltd. (FTIL).

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Union Government to use post offices to distribute pulses

The Union Government has decided to utilise the vast network of post offices across the country to sell subsidised pulses.

The decision was taken during the meeting of the inter-ministerial committee on prices of essential commodities headed by Consumer Affairs Secretary.

The committee reviewed

  • The availability and prices of essential commodities, especially pulses.
  • The prices of pulses, sugar and other essential commodities.

The committee decided to release more gram (chana) from buffer stock to ensure its availability through retail distribution at reasonable prices during the festive season.

Why post offices will distribute pulses?

  • The purpose of this move is to ensure that there is no shortage of the pulses during the ongoing festival season.
  • The postal networks will fill the gap of absence of government outlets in the States for the distribution of pulses, mainly, tur, urad and chana.
  • It will help government to leverage strong network of around 1.54 lakh post offices in the country, of which 1.39 lakh are in rural areas.
  • It will help government to release more pulses from buffer stock and sell it at subsidised prices to protect consumers from high prices.

In order to protect consumers from high prices, Central Government has been releasing tur and urad from its buffer stocks to state governments as well as government agencies like NAFED and Mother Dairy for retail distribution at a subsidised rate.

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